tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC February 9, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PST
president obama on a $26 billion settlement deal to help distressed homeowners and prevent further mortgage abuses. also we are following the first day of cpac, annual meeting of conservative leaders under way at the moment. let's talk about the housing deal first. we long talked on this show and in the media about accountability following the greatest economic crisis since the depression. i wonder to what degree you guys think this is sort of line in the sand as far as that is concerned? janel? >> i would say it seems to establish some standards for the companies and banks that are going to manage mortgages going forward and try to sort out the existing mess. it certainly does provide some relief to homeowners who are either under water, meaning they owe more on their homes than the value of the actual property. will probably reduce people's actual mortgage payments because
they'll be eligible for interest rate reduction. >> $7 billion for homeowner relief $3 billion for refinancing, what this means if you have a home under water, the average -- you're under water by $50,000, this may provide $20,000 in relief. there are 4 million americans foreclosed upon since 2007. one of the remarkable things about this, i think, there has been some resistance from the part of the banks. mike, it's important to note your wife works for bank of america. banks are playing ball with this. they have come to the table. it was imperative the banks admitted wrong doing. there is possible criminal prosecution down the road. >> i think it's a good step in the right direction on two fronts. it's a slight admission of guilt from the banks, no offense to anyone affiliated with the bank.
i always make the joke it only took three signatures to end world war ii, but takes almost 30 or 40 signatures to buy a house in all the pages and rules and regulations. i think it's a step in the right direction and good for the homeowner for mighting for their own rights. >> mike, how do you think the american people react to this? is it enough? >> that's an interesting question. it gets into the moral equivalency factor. if you're in trouble on your mortgage and not going to get help, you say why is my neighbor getting help and i'm not getting help? the bottom line on this agreement is any time you can reduce the amount of litigation involved in this process, that's progress. this will reduce the amount of litigation. it won't end it, as you pointed you the. there are people who are going to be liable criminally under various states. massachusetts, new york, california, they will still be able to pursue cases criminally. it will reduce the amount of litigation. some people will be able to remain in their homes and not
get foreclosed upon because of this. some people are going to lose their homes no matter what because they ought not to have had the homes in the first place, which is part of the problem. >> i think it's $3,000 is the average or checks of $1,500 to $2,000 over three years for some of the 750,000 people who lost their homes to foreclosure. it's not a lot of money. we talk about accountability. it's something, right? >> the overall deal is a big number. that in itself provides some measure of justice. actually, the white house proposals in terms of helping homeowners under water would go a lot further. if congress and the white house could get on the same page in terms of funding, you could make a difference. as far as justice, the federal prosecutions that seem to be lining up against the wall street firms, low-grade housing pieces of paper.
that's a better place to go after the people behind the wrong doing that led to this collapse. if you want to go after the people that did bad things, there are big players in wall street that are still in the firing line. >> we have kristen welker live from the white house. give us a sense where the administration is going with this. this would seem to be a monumental day for them. the president has been under fire for unrelated issues involving contraceptive coverage. what does this change the optics war for them? >> reporter: you're right. it does change the optics for this administration. this is something that president obama wanted to announce during his state of the union address. they didn't have the deal done in time for that. this is, of course, a major settlement. the largest settlement since that tobacco settlement of the 1990s. the white house hoping it could provide relief to as many as 2 million homeowners. it's certainly quite significant. you heard a number of critics say this is really a drop in the
bucket. one in five americans right now currently under water on their mortgages. people saying it's not going to do enough. bottom line is, according to folks like mark zandi, it's a step in the right direction. it does something. when president obama speaks, you will probably also hear him talk about what he announced during his state of the union address, namely he put forth a proposal to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. homeowners under water. he's going to call congress to act on that. again, he's going to say, i can only do so much without the help of congress. that's a familiar refrain we heard in recent weeks and months from this white house. the president going to outline how this is going to help homeowners. i heard you talk about it. $5 billion will go to state and federal government, $17 billion will go to helping homeowners themselves. then you'll have about $1 billion that will go to the fha. it is changing the optics,
you're right. >> obama has been selling a populist message the last few months. this seems to be right in his wheel house, fighter for the middle class. the right has been if not preoccupied, wrapping its arms around social issues in the last couple of weeks. there is some contention that is going to carry a rick santorum to some degree a mitt romney forward. to me, this seems, if you're president obama and you're speaking to the american public, this seems to be a very winning message. here is real action on the issue in terms of addressing the concerns of the poor, working, middle class. those who suffered the most during this economic recession. >> housing is one of the few defining things in the middle class. housing, education, health care. that is the spectrum of middle class issues. the danger for the white house is if you look at polling focus groups, the middle class don't like the idea of bailouts going either above them or below them. bailouts and handouts. that was the language he used in
the state of the union for a good reason. they want people who are, as mike was suggesting earlier, people who deserve the help like them and not the undeserving. that is a tricky thing. that's how you say i don't care about the very poor. if you look at what the middle class polling suggests, they want to help themselves. housing will help them and will help the bigger economy. politics can be tricky. >> it's an interesting pivoting point. yes, this is a great political issue for the white house if they play it right. say i bought my house, i played by the rules and paid by the rules, but you're my next door neighbor, you didn't. i'm middle class, you're not. i didn't phrase it correctly. you're jealous of me. >> i'm envious of you, robert. >> thank you, alex. i don't like the fact you did not play by the rules. i stood in line, you did not. you got in front of the line. to richard's point, that's the problem with this. >> this exacerbates the deserved
and undeserved, the makers, the takers. we'll have more on this. thank you, kristen for the intell live from the white house. president obama faces division within his own ranks on the birth control policy. will he reverse his decision and should he? [ female announcer ] investing for yourself is a necessity. i find investments with e-trade's top 5 lists and use pre-defined screeners to work smarter. not harder.
i depend on myself to take charge of my financial future. [ bell dinging ] but think about your heart. 2% has over half the saturated fat of whole milk. want to cut back on fat and not compromise on taste? try smart balance fat free milk. it's what you'd expect from the folks at smart balance. the two trains and a bus rider. the "i'll sleep when it's done" academic.
this is not a women's rights issue. this is a religious liberty issue. >> this attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand. >> this is not about contraception. it's about constitutional rights. >> we are one of the 28 states saying we are offering this
contraception, except if you have religious convictions, you get an exemption. that's all we asked for. >> for days, republicans have been bashing the president on birth control. now so are democrats. among is senator joe mansion from west virginia. joining us now is the man who gets the last word on msnbc and will probably get the last word today, lawrence o'donnell. >> it's in my deal, last word. >> in the last segment we were talking about the white house -- the president speaking a few minutes about the $25 billion deal to help distressed opal owners. economic concerns still playing big in this country, yet the political media, the chattering classes have been subsumed with this birth control debate. you're seeing pushback from the
left. david axelrod opening the door to potential compromise. does obama need to move from his current position? >> i don't know. from the start, i have not been able to say with any certainty this is what the voter politics of it is, which is the thing that makes people think he has to move. what we know is there's a lot of talk about catholics are in favor of this. not true. catholic voters. don't poll catholics, poll catholic voters. if you poll catholics, you get a lot of people who are not eligible to vote and don't vote. only 45% support the requirement that catholic hospitals and universities pay for this. that's what this is. the defenders of the provision are trying to broaden this out to be about birth control for everyone. i think we have unanimous support here on the panel for
couldn contraception. i think it made america a very happy place to live since it was invented by men who desperately wanted to stop using that old-fashioned rubberized contraception. they were in search of their own pleasure. let's get it straight how the birth control pill was invented. >> don't you think the white house is concerned about the reagan democrat? >> or biden democrat. >> biden and daley advised him fwens this. you're not running for president of the united states. you're running for the president of pennsylvania. >> ohio. >> president of about maybe eight states that matter. >> suburban women independent voters, who by the way care
about it. >> absolutely. you have california, you have new york. the question becomes politically. i don't know how the votes break down on this. there is a countervote to this if the argument continues. when you look at this and it says 45% of catholic voters support this requirement and 52% of catholic voters oppose this requirement, as someone running for president you say, tell me where they are. then you say, this is the most important thing in all of this. will this, is this possibly a single issue for them? the answer is probably not. if you say to those voters, i'd like to cut your taxes while i also supply birth control to everyone. they go, okay. i'm for that. >> i think the always-reliable politico says confronted to a position close to his heart and dear to the base, obama is increasingly inclined to decide for people who will vote for him even though it means enraging
those who might or probably won't vote. >> of those catholic voters, do they vote against me already? if they do, there is no price to this. >> mike barnicle, you've been quiet here as we talk about joe biden. >> he has 17 children. he knows nothing about contraceptive. >> how weird we have four guys talking about this? secondly, the clip we played introducing this segment, this is not about contraception. this is just not about contraception. it's certainly not a war on religion as these nitwits were talking about going into this. this is about people's fear of ever-encroaching government. most catholics i know practice contraceptive. >> every single catholic i know except possibly rick santorum who i don't know.
every catholic loves contraception. it's like water to catholics, okay? >> the great fear is what does this mean for places like georgetown university, boston college, notre dame, catholic teaching hospitals, catholic charities? is it the government trying to encroach upon what they do? >> how does it work in massachusetts now? don't they have this. >> they do. >> what does boston college do? >> they go along with it. that's what republicans and opponents of this. if you look at tim kaine's statement, he is not aposed to what the president is suggested. it's just a mild compromise to expand the exemption. >> assuming president obama, can president obama do that, what are the optics if after going out with this, will he catch the ire of women's groups?
>> if you are president of the united states running for re-election, you say why are you bringing me these problems? we have 8% unemployment, a couple of wars going on. kick it down the road. additional exemption may not be a bumper sticker, but effective election year politics. move it down the track and deal with it later. honestly, no one is being forced to use birth control. these people do not have to accept every treatment offered in the health care plan. >> and no one will be without access to it. >> just a minute. this is the big lie of health care reform. the health care reform bill deliberately, in its conception, leaves out 30 million people. okay? more than half of them are women. we cannot sit here and pretend that no one is going without it. these legislators who made this bill happen deliberately left out 30 million, okay? there is a minimum of 16 million women there who do not get any
coverage for anything, not anything. >> you can get birth control pills for free. >> where? >> planned parenthood. >> once you get in the weeds of coverage option you lose a large sector of the general public. abortive pills, obama care, religious attacks, these are great phrases for the right. >> the very same health care care has no vision provision in it. no one is talking about it. that's pretty important. >> no one talks about catholic men being able to get viagra. hello. >> what is viagra? >> we are talking about how the left and white house combats
this rhetoric, i'm not sure you can kick it down the road. it's great the president is a nou announcing this $26 billion settlement. it goes to the question about this race. can social issues eclipse fiscal issues in this race? will they? the right is doing everything in their power to make it so. >> no. >> yet you have ben nelson, joe mansion, bob casey. >> no one voted on this. no one. this is what it we do legislation all the time. whenever you see a bill over 1,000 pages in it, there are a bunch of blanks where it says the secretary shall. whatever department we are talking about, the secretary is now going to write this provision of the law. that's what happened here. secretary of hhs wrote this provision of the law. this could not pass the house of representatives when they were trying to pass it. it would never have passed. it would have killed it. that's how these things get in.
it is, by the way, an extremely tight exemption. when they say churches are exempt, the word church never appears in this rule. churches are not exempt. this rule requires that the employer being primarily involved in the inculcation of religious values. there are churches -- it's all catholic. that's all we are talking about here. there are catholic churches in this country that have the lone janitor as their only employee who is not catholic. that church under this rule would not qualify. >> aren't you glad you showed up with robert's rules of order? >> and dropping "inculcation" such a good word always. >> i didn't write it. >> we are waiting for president obama to speak at any moment.
but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
we are waiting for the president to speak at the white house. he is expected to discuss the $25 billion settlement deal to help distressed homeowners. joining us exclusively in his first interview since the deal was reached is delaware attorney general bo biden. always a pleasure to have you on the program. >> great to be on, alex. >> let's talk about the deal. we spoke at the top of the show about whether this is some measure of accountability and whether the american public should feel like the wheels of justice are fluidly in motion at this point. are you happy with this outcome? >> i am. it's a much better deal than it
was two weeks ago or two months ago. the president, secretary of housing, tom miller, my colleague who you will probably see in a moment with the president, they deserve real credit. this is a positive direction to get the housing market and foreclosure crisis in check. ilt a very good strong first step. >> is this going to be an easy process for homeowners? give as sense how much work there is to do on their part. >> part of the monies, there is $20 billion in soft money that is going to be allocated to homeowners who are borrowers hanging on by their finger nails. we've got to do a lot in the ag world to reach out and let them know this program is available to them, use it and take advantage of it. another chunk will be used for underwater on-time borrowers. people that can refinance that right now can't refinance because they are under water even though they are on time. they can take advantage of the really favorable interest rates.
we have a big public relations campaign. i think that's what you'll see the president talking about, to make sure citizens know and borrowers know there is a program out here that is for them, that the banks have to do and that is real and meaningful and will work for many people that are affected by this crisis. >> general, this is mike barnicle. you were one of a handful of attorneys general who kept the banks coming back to the table to continue this negotiation process. you have the successful conclusion. what options are still left to you as an attorney general of delaware and other attorneys general around the country to pursue cases criminally? do you still have those options available to you? >> 100%, mike. that is a great question. the attorney general of nevada, attorney general of new york, attorney general of california, attorney general of many other states, but primarily those states as well as massachusetts, your moment state, deserve great credit for making this a much better deal than it was weeks
ago. number one as to your point. we retained our criminal ability to pursue criminal cases. what you saw in missouri last friday is the attorney general of missouri indict one of the leading document servicer companies. he indicted their ceo and president. this is a group of people that for the banks perpetrated the robo-signing scandal. this is the famous linda green. linda green, the person who signed tens of thousands of affidavits fraudulently. you'll see criminal investigations are going to continue. >> attorney general biden, we have to leave it there because the president is now taking the stage to discuss that very settlement. thanks for your time. >> it is the reason a lot of families are going to be helped across the country. first of all, our attorney general eric holder, secretary of housing and urban development
shean donovan, associate attorney general and former classmate of mine tom pirelli. we've got attorney general george jettison from connecticut, roy cooper attorney general from north carolina. lisa madigan from my home state of illinois and former seat mate of mine in the state legislature together. dustin mcdaniel from arkansas. gregory zeller from indiana and tom miller from iowa. i also want to acknowledge bob ryan who worked with with shean donovan extensively on this issue as well as tim masiff of treasury and gene sperling who doesn't always get the credit he deserves for doing outstanding work. the housing bubble that burst nearly six years ago triggered, as we all know, the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. it costs millions of innocent
americans their jobs and their homes. it remains one of the biggest drags on our economy. last fall my administration unveiled a series of steps to help responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages to ache advantage of historically low rates. last week i urged congress to pass a plan that would help millions more americans refinance and stay in their homes. i indicated that the american people need congress to act on this piece of legislation. in the meantime, we can't wait to get things done and provide relief to america's homeowners. we need to keep doing everything we can to help homeowners and our economy. today with the help of democratic and republican attorneys general from nearly every state in the country, we are about to take a major step on our own. we have reached a landmark
settlement with the nation's largest banks that will speed relief to the hardest hit homeowners and some of the most abusive practices of the mortgage industry. and begin to turn the page on an era of recklessness that left so much damage in its wake. by now, it's well known that millions of americans who did the right thing and the responsible thing, shopped for a house, secured a mortgage they could afford, made their payments on time were nevertheless hurt badly by the irresponsible actions of others. by lenders who sold loans to people who couldn't afford them. by buyers who knew they couldn't afford them. by speculators looking to make a quick buck. by banks that took risky mortgages, packaged them up and traded them off for large profits. it was wrong and it cost more than 4 million families their homes to foreclosure. even worse, many companies that
handled these foreclosures didn't give people a fighting chance to hold on to their homes. in many cases, they didn't even verify these foreclosures were actually legitimate. some of the people they hired to process foreclosures used fake signatures on fake documents to speed up the foreclosure process. some didn't read what they were signing at all. think about that. you work, you save your entire life to buy a home. that's where you raise your family. that's where your kids' memories are formed. that's your stake, your claim on the american dream, and the person signing the document couldn't take enough time to even make sure the foreclosure was legitimate. these practices were plainly irresponsible. we refused to let them go unanswered. about a year ago, our federal law enforcement agencies teamed
up with state attorneys general to get to the bottom of these abuses. the settlement we reached today, thanks to the work of some of the folks on this stage, is the largest joint federal state settlement in our nation's history, is the result of that extraordinary cooperation. america's biggest banks will be required to right these wrongs. that means more than just paying a fee. these banks will put billions of dollars toward relief for families across the nation. they will provide refinancing for borrowers stuck in high-interest rate mortgages. they will reduce loans for families who earn more on their homes than they are worth and deliver some measure of justice for families already victims of abusive practices. all told, this isn't just good for these families, it's good for their neighborhoods.
it's good for their communities and it guy for our economy. this settlement also protects our ability to further investigate the practices that cause this mess. this is important. the mortgage fraud task force i announced in my state of the union address retains its full authority to aggressively investigate the packaging and reselling of risky mortgages that led to this crisis. this investigation is already well under way and working closely with state attorneys general, we are going to keep at it until we hold those who broke the law fully accountable. i want to be clear. no compensation, no amount of money, no measure of justice is enough to make it right for a family who's had their piece of the american dream wrongly taken from them. no action no matter how meaningful is going to by itself entirely heal the housing market. this settlement is a start and
we'll make sure banks live up to their end of the bargain. if they don't we set up an independent inspector, a monitor that has the power to make sure they pay exactly what they agreed to pay, plus a penalty if they fail to act in in accordance with this agreement. so this will be a big help. even with this settlement, there are millions of responsible homeowners out there doing their best and they need us to do more to help them get back on their feet. we've still got to stoke the fires of our economic recovery, so now is not the time to pull back. to build on this settlement, congress still needs to send me the bill i proposed that gives every responsible homeowners in america the chance to refinance their mortgage and save about $3,000 a year. it would help millions of homeowners who make payments on time save hundreds of dollars a month. it can broaden the impact building off this settlement.
that's money that can be put back into the homes of those folks who were saving money on the refinancing, helping to build their equity back up. they may decide to spend that money on local businesses. either way, it's good for families and it's good for our economy. it's only going to happen if congress musters the will to act. i ask every american to raise your voice and demand that they do. because there really is no execution for inaction. there is no excuse for doing nothing to help families avoid foreclosure. that's not who we are. we are americans and we look out for one another. we get each other's backs. that's not a democratic issue, that's not a republican issue. that's who we are as americans. the bipartisan nature of this settlement and the outstanding work that these state attorneys general did is a testament to what happens when everybody's pulling in the same direction. that's what today's settlement is all about, standing up for
the american people, holding those who broke the law accountable, restoring confidence in our housing market and our financial sector, and getting things moving, and we are going to keep on at it until everyone shares in america's comeback. ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your outstanding efforts. we are very, very proud of you. we look forward to seeing this settlement lead to some small measure of relief to a lot of families out there that need help. that's going to strengthen the american economy overall. so thank you very much. that was president obama speaking about the $25 billion settlement to help distressed homeowners. what struck me about that speech was how much it was in line with this is campaign message, which is we are all americans, i'm fighting for the middle class. rhetoric about banks required to right their wrongs. what is interesting about this though, when you talk to folks
on wall street beings they like this settlement in so far it gives certainty in terms of what's going to happen legally, as mike said. it puts a period, anon the process. >> i'll know at 10:00. my staff will be working all afternoon. that is a very good point. that is what everyone forgets. the industries need to know what's going to happen and where we can find our balance. this tells them that. >> it also is a great campaign message fighting for the middle class and has clint eastwood doing chrysler ads that echo the same point. >> more than the campaign, if there is such a thing. i was trying to pivot from this settlement back to the state of the union idea. the notion that we cannot, the political system in washington
cannot find a way to help people refinance, albeit with a small tax tax on some banks to help them out. people cannot refinance because they are getting the run around, congress can't do anything about it because they are worried about the campaign, that is a mark how broken this system is. honestly, that isn't a left or right thing. i don't mean to sound like clint eastwood. i couldn't if i tried. surely something within everyone's reach. republicans and democrats. >> congressional approval down at 10%. thank you again. >> how is it that high? blagojevich is 9%. thank you to lawrence o'donnell whose "last word" is 10:00 tonight. >> i'm going to answer donald trump's tweet question. who is the dumbest man on tv?
his answer is me. i have a different idea. why don't you have that be the question. >> that is must-see television. >> coming up, as republicans gather in washington for the conservative political action conference, new questions about the direction of the party. we'll ask family research council president tony perkins about what it means to be a conservative today. ♪ [ female announcer ] gross -- i'll tell you what's really gross: used dishcloths. they can have a history that they drag around with them. for a cleaner way to clean try bounty extra soft. in this lab demo, one sheet of bounty extra soft leaves this surface 3 times cleaner than a dishcloth. it's super durable too. it's the cleaner way to clean. bring it with bounty extra soft.
in the pink pack. and try bounty napkins. . what makes the sleep number store different? you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you want a firm bed you can lie on one of those, if you want a soft bed you can lie on one of those." we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. wow. that feels really good. it's about support where you find it most comfortable. at the ultimate sleep number event, queen mattresses now start at just $599. and save an astonishing 50% on the final closeout of our innovative limited edition bed.
why? i thought jill was your soul mate. no, no it's her dad. the general's your soul mate? dude what? no, no, no. he's, he's on my back about providing for his little girl. hey don't worry. e-trade's got a totally new investing dashboard. everything is on one page, your investments, quotes, research... it's like the buffet last night. whatever helps you understand man. i'm watching you. oh yeah? well i'm watching you, watching him. [ male announcer ] try the new 360 investing dashboard at e-trade. you these primaries are somehow -- at the end we are all going to come together and we know that, right? but what are republican primaries about? they're usually at the core a fight of who is more like ronald reagan. the democrats never fight about who is more like jimmy carter.
>> that was senator marco rubio this morning speaking at cpac. michele bachmann is speaking right now joaning us is tony perkins, president of the family research council. thanks for joining the program. >> good to be with you. >> we know all the republican contenders for president are going to be speaking at cpac in the course of the next few days. it's been a volume time week for the republican party. mitt romney punching back at rick santorum, newt gingrich making a stand at cpac to get the electorate back on his side. do you think the gop is in disarray? >> not at all. an exciting primary, people are paying attention. i do think that this is what it's supposed to be. the party is trying to decide who is going to carry the banner for conservatism going into the general election. i think it's better now that they have this discussion than waiting until the general
election when they have to settle for a candidate they don't think represents them. >> i guess from the outside though it looks like there is a cleave between the establishment and tea party base. mitt romney in particular as he deems to be the front runnier is jockeying for this position. do you think the infighting is hurting him as a candidate? >> this is nothing new. this is a normal process. i think it's more pronounced. the tea party and social conservatives, strong overlap there are growing in their influence in the party. i don't think mitt romney sold himself to them as the candidate to best represent their smaller government, lower taxes, pro family agenda. he has a ways to go, you're right.
>> robert traynham has a question for you. >> it appears romney care, the contraceptive issue was a main issue. also the morning after pill was required when he was governor. assuming -- >> for rape victims. >> right. assuming he is the republican nominee, which appears he probably will be, do you think he could be the conservative standard bearer going into the fall, romney care versus obama care? is that something you could support, meaning him being the nominee? >> robert, you point out a very strong liability mitt romney has. when you look at the government health care in massachusetts, you look at the components of that and you try to point out those weaknesses in obama care, and it really takes that issue off the table. that's what with rick santorum made that point many times about comparing romney's record with obama's record. clearly, there is a difference.
you've got to draw a line there. some of these big issues, and we've seen how big of an issue this is, would be shoved off the table in a head-to-head between romney and obama. >> could you support him or would you endorse him if he becomes the nominee? >> first off, i haven't endorsed a candidate. our organization never endorsed a presidential candidate. i think the lines will be clear, maybe not as clear, but they will be clear. you'll have a choice between someone who pushes policies like this administration has. this is not the only attack on religious freedom that has come from this administration. mitt has tried to distance himself from these other positions. he has embraced a more conservative platform. not as clear, but clearer than what the president has done. he will get the support. will he turn that dial to get the enthusiasm there? that's the big question. >> the question is also what
does mitt romney do now? there is some sense you have to plug your nose and shut your eyes if you're a tea partier to have mitt romney as your nominee. the romney camp is getting it from all sides in terms of pieces of advice. every time mitt romney does that, it seems to come out of touch or strangely robotic. >> i think the only thing he can do, i believe he will be the nominee, he has to choose a hard right wing vice presidential nominee to ease the fear, if you will. >> presuming he is the nominee. >> i believe he will be. i believe it will be marco rubio. >> but that's not for months.
>> if you become the nominee, this is who i may pick. >> i'm not in the advice business for people running for public office they tried to delay any statement of conservative principles that the candidate would articulate as long as possible because they don't want to get into a fight about it now. it would appear nearly four years almost to the day after president obama gave the reverend jeremiah wright speech to declare who he was and where he stood on that issue, it might be time begin what mr. perkins is saying, for mitt romney to give a speech before cpac or some organization like that to sort of outline his conservative principles more broadly and articulate than he has. you raise the issue of governor romney's health care plan that is now in effect in
massachusetts. in massachusetts, the health care coverage is up to about 98% of the population. my question to you is, is that a bad thing? >> the issue is when we are talking about mandates, are people being mandated to get the health care? >> nobody is angry about it in massachusetts. there are no people -- >> that's the national issue. it's the issue whether that can be the debate going into this election. 60% of american are opposed to this idea of some of the provisions in the obama care being forced on them. >> tony perkins, thank you for joining us. we'll be discussing more after the break. stay with us. wake up!
specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
we were talking before the break about mitt romney and what team romney needs to do. what does team santorum need to do? he's going to be campaigning hard in michigan talking about his family, values, social concerns. does he need to pivot to a more economic fiscal message? >> yes. he noo eds to talk about the economy. >> and get a lot of money. >> be prepared for attacks on his electability. he says i'm the guy who can win in the demonstrates except when i lost by 18 points. >> withstand the grinding gears of the romney attack machine, no? >> yeah. he's got to stay out of michigan. don't build up his hopes there. that's romney's home state and he's got to raise a lot of money. >> he's got to stay out of michigan and stay more arizona? >> he's got to convince the delegates he can win a handful of small states. that is a big victory, and keep his small victories energized,
the increasingly conservative wing of that party. allows him to keep going. >> janell? >> i think he needs to build his economic credentials and show he has ideas that go beyond your standard party line. he's got to differentiate himself in some way. >> we'll see what rick santorum and his sweater vest cook up in the next few days. thanks to my panel, richard, robert, mike and janell. that is all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern/11:00 central. until then you can follow us at twitter @now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next hosted by the always-awesome luke russert. >> you're more awesome than i. great to see you. >> a lovefest. >> indeed. coming up, a rare look inside syria as the violence escalates and the international community debates whether to arm the
rebels. today's politico briefing, how foreclosures in swing states may dog the president's re-election prospects. is the processes for selecting a gop nominee out of control? national journal editor in chief read wilson is here to tell us if caucuses should be on the chopping block. all that when we come back.[ w ai were going on vacation, so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
insurance ... but afraid you can't afford it? well, look how much insurance many people can get through selectquote for less than a dollar a day. selectquote found, rich, 37, a $500,000 policy for under $18 a month. even though dave, 43, takes meds to control his blood pressure, selectquote got him a $500,000 policy for under $28 a month. ellen, 47, got a $250,000 policy for under $20 a month. all it takes is a phone call. your personal selectquote agent will answer all your questions ... and impartially shop the highly rated term life companies selectquote represents for your best rates. give your family the security it needs at a price you can afford. call this number or go to selectquote dot com.
selectquote. we shop. you save. i had[ designer ]eeling enough of just covering up my moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. i decided enough is enough. ♪ [ spa lady ] i started enbrel. it's clinically proven to provide clearer skin. [ rv guy ] enbrel may not work for everyone -- and may not clear you completely, but for many, it gets skin clearer fast, within 2 months, and keeps it clearer up to 9 months. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region
where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. if you've had enough, ask your dermatologist about enbrel. right now on "andrea mitchell reports. in "the birth control controversy erupts on capitol hill. a number of democrats now joining republicans and catholic leaders calling on the white house to modify the mandate. can president obama keep this from becoming a defining issue in the 2012 campaign? conservative cattle call. can romney gain back momentum that is shifting to santorum? can he connect tomorrow with those activists in the gop that still don'